Many of your clients may not consider the value-or impact-that soffit can have on their home. They may focus on siding and trim, while soffit isn't top of mind. However, when it comes to exterior home upgrades, you have the chance to discuss why installing good soffit is critical to the home's structure as well as how it can contribute to curb appeal.
We asked Kyle Miller, Marketing and Sales Director at All Around Construction, for his take on the importance of soffit and how to create curb appeal with it. Learn more here so you can feel confident talking with your clients about every last detail of their home.
Coupled with siding and trim, vented soffit's main role on a home is to increase ventilation and ensure airflow remains open. "Soffit is critical to bring fresh air in to ventilate the attic space, which extends the life of the roof," Miller says. "It also ensures the home's indoor air quality is as good as it can be."
Functionally, soffit is most critical on the eaves and overhangs of the home that extend out from an attic space. "Assuming you have a properly vented roof, the eaves serve a very important role in bringing in fresh air," Miller says.
Soffit also contributes to moisture management. When soffit extends further out from the home, this provides more protection from water falling right onto the home's foundation. This is especially key if the home does not have gutters.
When it comes to soffit installation tips, Miller reminds professionals that properly installed soffit also keeps pests from getting into the home. "If it's not buttoned up tight, you can get squirrels and bees inside," he says. When caulking soffit (and fascia), be sure all seams are adequately sealed.
“The function of the soffit is a lot more important than the aesthetics of it,” Miller adds, “but the style and type of material can add to—or detract from—the home’s curb appeal.”
"A soffit overhang on a large front porch is an area where soffit would contribute to curb appeal more," Miller says. This offers an opportunity to talk with clients about making these areas feel better, warmer and more luxurious with a soffit product that looks as good as the rest of their exterior home upgrades.
“Typically, these porches and wraparound porches are found on older, historic homes,” Miller adds, but any porch your clients intend to use almost as another room in the home would be a good candidate for soffit with curb appeal.
“For homeowners who want a truly perfect exterior finish, using the LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding collection is a great way to go,” Miller recommends. By choosing a collection of exterior siding materials, every product matches and homeowners have a unified appearance for their homes that they may not be able to achieve with a mix of LP SmartSide siding and aluminum soffit, for example.
"Always want to use vented soffit on the eaves or over a space that is bringing air into the attic," Miller advises. For the rest of the home homeowners can opt for vented or non-vented soffit, but it is most important to have vented soffit over the eaves. Other areas of the home, like cantilevers, can benefit from either type of soffit.
For remodelers putting soffit on an older home, Miller notes that removing the old soffit or opening up more soffit vents first is crucial. "The older soffit is likely going to be under-ventilated," he says," so before you install the new product, be sure to remove the old wood or cut in more air intake vents so you're getting more ventilation instead of unintentionally choking it off."
When you're guiding your clients in choosing color, Miller has some helpful tips. "Soffit tends to look best in a neutral color-white is the most common option," he says. "I recommend matching the soffit color to the home's corner posts and trim."
Miller adds that soffit should be in an accent color that already exists in the home’s color palette. When discussing color, he generally guides clients away from adding a new color to the palette and instead matching the home’s other accent pieces, like trim or window frames.
"Whether or not the soffit should pop is up to the homeowner," he says. "A more common trend now, for example, is black trim, so homeowners can match their soffit to that for a more unique look."
“Soffit can be a contrasting element of the home or it can be more subtle, where the siding draws the eye in and the soffit blends in more,” Miller says.
"The cost of LP SmartSide soffit may be higher than the industry standard, but it will look a lot nicer than aluminum," Miller says. "Plus, on the jobsite it cuts and installs like traditional wood, and it is available in a nice cedar grain siding texture," as well as a smooth finish, ideal for any exterior home upgrades.
“Ultimately, your customers are going to be a lot more satisfied with the end look,” he adds. LP SmartSide soffit may last longer than competitors, such as aluminum, which can begin to corrode and discolor fairly quickly. LP SmartSide soffit is built for durability and backed by a 5/50-year limited warranty.
If you use LP SmartSide ExpertFinish® soffit, the paint is applied in a controlled environment for a uniform appearance designed to last. This, among other qualities in LP SmartSide exterior siding materials, leads to easier maintenance for your clients—and a product they can choose with confidence and enjoy is always a win.
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